Long ago, people thought that Windows Defender was useless. They said that it guaranteed virus protection but it didn’t really live up to its purpose as it failed to block some malicious programs. But is it true?
To investigate what’s real from what’s not, we’ve put up this unbiased Windows Defender review.
About Windows Defender
Windows Defender is an anti-malware tool that comes in-built on your Windows 10/11 device. At the time it was initially launched, it was deemed ineffective, which resulted in an outpour of rants and criticisms.
However, over the years, the tool has significantly improved that it has been loved by many. Today, it’s even hailed one of the best free antiviruses that exist.
The Pros and Cons of Windows Defender
Even if it’s named one of the best anti-malware tools today, Windows Defender also has its own fair share of pros and cons. These are:
- It is completely free.
- It comes in-built.
- It has no impact on your system performance.
- It can detect malware and viruses.
- It has some useful features.
- It is easy to use.
- It offers free ransomware protection.
- The results of the tests are often random.
- The added features are limited.
How to Use Windows Defender
Windows Defender has many uses. It can be set to perform automatic scans in the background. It allows you to view your scan history as well as other quarantined malware. Most importantly, it lets you perform a manual scan.
Like other anti-malware tools, Windows Defender can be set to automatically run in the background. It can scan files when they’re being downloaded or while they are transferred from one drive to another.
You don’t really have to do a lot to set an automatic scan. Windows Defender will just pop up at random and inform you of potential malware. Sometimes, it won’t ask you what to do with a malicious program or file. It will just clean it up or quarantine the file if needed.
When Windows Defender performs a scan, you will see a notification popup in the toolbar. If you click on it, you will see the details of the previously performed scan.
View Your Scan History and Other Quarantined Malware
Yes, you can view the scan history of Windows Defender any time you want. And if you ever get a notification that it has blocked a malware entity, you can check that information, too.
To open Windows Defender Security Center, simply hit the Start button, type windows defender into the search field, and click Windows Defender Security Center. Next, navigate to the Windows Defender tab and click on the Scan History link.
You will now see a screen with all the current threats and all the information about your recent scan. If you want to view the full history of quarantined threats, click See Full History.
Perform a Manual Scan
You can also perform a manual scan on Windows Defender. Launch Windows Defender Security Center by going to the Windows menu. And then, input windows defender into the search field and choose Windows Defender Security Center. After that, go to the Windows Defender tab and click Quick Scan. That’s it!
You don’t really have to do this because this tool already offers real-time protection. It even performs automatic scans. But if you want to stay safe, there is no harm in performing a quick scan.
If you want, you may also perform an advanced scan by clicking on the Advanced Scan link. You can then choose from three different types of scans:
- Full Scan – Use this to scan your memory and some common file locations.
- Custom Scan – This allows you to choose a specific folder to scan.
- Windows Defender Offline Scan – There are malware entities that are tough to remove while Windows is up and running. If you choose this, Windows will restart and perform a scan.
Final Verdict: Is It Worth It?
Of course, a free anti-malware tool that is reliable and trusted is worth using. However, we cannot deny the fact that there are new malware strains that can avoid detection, even by the best anti-malware tools. To ensure no malware component infiltrates your device, use Windows Defender alongside other third-party anti-malware tools. And to further improve your PC’s defenses, it is best that you also install a PC repair tool that will get rid of unwanted files and programs on your device.